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Double  standards  exist  pervasively throughout  our society. There is the age double standard; the race double standard and we have always had the gender double standard  as early as the  arrival of man on the scene.  In  current  society, the  gender double standard  is further delineated in the fields of employment, human capabilities, inner  and moral strength and social  interactions. One area that is most  striking  is the double standard involving  social interactions. Men and women in this field are on equal footing   with respect to their interactions with members of the opposite sex. I make a point of it because it elicits paranoid behavior in both sexes. It is understandable, but quite perplexing when it comes down to the basic logic of it all. Let me explain. 

Both sexes have relationships with members of their gender. That is, men have men friends and women have women friends.  Further assume these men and women have  ties, be it marital or relationships i.e. girlfriends, boyfriends. When the friendships  involve  a crossing of genders, that is a man has a friend who happens to be a female and a women who has a friend  who happens to be a male, a problem arises  for a rather obvious reason.  The connotation or shall I say the suspicion of an interaction deemed inappropriate arises. It becomes deemed an inappropriate interaction simply based on gender. Why?

The suspicion is predicated on an automatic mistrust and therefore, a kind of misconduct. It is based on assumptions, however false, about the participants in the relationship. From the beginning , if we are male or female the given in this scenario is inappropriate behavior without  even looking at the reality or intention. Again, why?   That is the double standard.  Each gender holds  the other to a standard, perhaps  in no small way that is biased  and unfair. Mistrust is a given. “I’ll be home later, honey. I’m having a few drinks with Janet” Bob says to his wife, has an infinitely more of a suspicious impact than, “I’ll be home later, honey” I’m having a few drinks with Mike”. Both Janet and Mike may very well be friends of Bob’s family. Nevertheless, it doesn’t eradicate the presence of suspicion between Janet and Bob or even Bob’s wife with a male friend. The ‘double’ double  standard will always be the rule

One might ask the question, Is it appropriate for a man or woman who is spoken for by another to have a friendly drink or date with a member of the opposite sex in the first place? Staunch advocates of the sanctity of the marital  bond or even exclusive  relationships might flatly answer,  No. Liberal minded  and free spirited thinkers  might give  a more  ‘Swingers’ response, “What’s the problem with that? . Those sitting on the fence may deem it a ‘maybe’ or ‘it depends’ with a pending qualified answer .No matter what the particular circumstance, this standard seems to be imbedded into the fabric of societal relationships

It is unlike other classes of gender double standards  such as employment which injects biases in salary and  capabilities. An Inner emotional strength double standard to handle tasks that require a certain moral  toughness. It is unique because the double standard of which I speak is not biased between the genders, one over the other. It is assigned to men and women equally. Men must deal with this basic assumption of mistrust as do women. So what is the resolution to all this? A relationship check-up assessing intentions and inner trust? Probably, this is the correct path to dispelling mistrust  Nevertheless  It seems no matter how  introspective one becomes about his or her relationships,  there looms the possibility of a misdeed or  inappropriate behavior with this type of standard rooted in our thinking. It’s part of the human condition and perhaps, never will evolve to a higher state. It is part of the human condition.



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